Components Of A Will - Funeral Wishes

By Stan Taylor Written on:

Want to make a start on your will?

Making a will is simple

Making a Will is not about wealth it is about making sure that what you want to happen to your estate does happen. It gives you the opportunity to specify such things as who will administer your estate, who will care for your children and who will receive specific items of your property.

You should always make your funeral wishes known to your family as your will may not be found and opened until after it has taken place. However, there are still good reasons to refer to your funeral wishes in the will itself, especially if they are out of the ordinary.

If your family are aware you left a will they will undoubtedly check the will for funeral wishes.

If your funeral needs to be arranged by your solicitor or by someone other than a close family member, directions in the will can be very helpful.

The person arranging the funeral will want to know that he is doing what you would have wished. The most basic choice is between burial and cremation.

If you do not specify which you want, the chances are that the person arranging the funeral will do what he would choose for himself.

Remember that at a time when they are emotionally distressed your family will not need the additional stress of wondering whether they have done what you would have wished.

You should at the very minimum specify your choice between burial and cremation. Some people go a lot further and specify the Bible readings and hymns they wish to have.

Sometimes they desire there to be no dark clothes or flowers. (search for ttp://www.gardenorganic.

The law says that the funeral expenses are a charge on your estate.

It is usually expected that your funeral will be arranged according to your station in life. A solicitor executor will have to be sure the amount expended is reasonable in relation to your estate so as to avoid allegations of overspending from the beneficiaries. It is therefore important that if you want a big funeral or a particular item such as a horse-drawn hearse, a jazz band or a Scottish piper, you specify this in the will so as to authorise your executors to pay for it.

A memorial is not a testamentary expense even though it is now a deductible expense for inheritance tax purposes.

If you wish to have a memorial paid for from your estate you must say so. This is especially important if you are leaving your estate to charity, for example. Family members may not object to money being spent on a memorial but to avoid arguments give your executors the power to pay for it.

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see: Making a will - The Law Society. Please note that will making differs in Scotland and this website currently deals with English laFree Will download


Perhaps you might consider taking legal advice from a solicitor about making a will if any of the following apply to your circumstances:


  1. A number of people could make a claim on your estate when you pass away because they depend on yourself financially
  2. You want to include a trust in your will (perhaps to provide for children, to save tax, or simply protect your assets in some way after you become deceased)
  3. Your physical and permanent home is not in the UK and / or you are not a British citizen
  4. You live here in the UK but you have additional property abroad
  5. You own all or part of a UK business.

see: Making a will - The Law Society. Please note that will making differs in Scotland and this website currently deals with English law.

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